Acoustic analysis of voice in children with cleft lip and palate following vocal rehabilitation. Preliminary report

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International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology


Background: Cleft lip and palate (CLP) is the most common craniofacial anomaly. CLP affects resonance, voice and speech. Besides the most frequently reported resonance and speech disorders, several reports have addressed acoustic abnormalities in the voice of patients with CLP. However, there are just a few reports focusing on vocal treatment in this population. Objective: To study whether a Speech and Language Pathology (SLP) intervention including vocal rehabilitation for children with CLP and velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) provides significant improvement of abnormal acoustic parameters of voice. Material and methods: Fifteen children with cleft lip and palate (CLP) and velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) were studied. Age ranged 4–5 years. A matched control group of children without craniofacial anomalies and adequate speech, resonance and voice was assembled. All children underwent acoustic analysis of voice at the onset and at the end of SLP intervention including vocal rehabilitation. Results: Hypernasality persisted unchanged following SLP intervention. Mean Fundamental Frequency (F0) did not demonstrate a significant difference between the control and the active groups. At the onset of the intervention mean shimmer and jitter were significantly higher in all patients with CLP as compared to controls. At the end of the intervention shimmer and jitter significantly decreased in patients with CLP showing no differences as compared to controls. Conclusion: SLP intervention including vocal rehabilitation improves abnormal acoustic parameters of voice. Besides surgical treatment for VPI the SLP intervention in children with CLP should also address vocal rehabilitation.







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